I watched a little bit of a show recently called Major League Fishing. It follows a professional fishing circuit of the same name and this particular show featured a tournament at Lake Fork Reservoir in Texas. In the few minutes I watched, they caught one big fish after another! No one went more than a few seconds without catching something. If you didn’t know anything about fishing, you would have thought it was an aerobic exercise.
The book of Numbers (and the Bible for that matter) is not like that! It makes it clear that following God isn’t an endless series of fireworks to post on social media for everyone to ooh and aah over—it’s about pursuing Him through all seasons (including hardship – see 11:1) and all circumstances. Naturally, some occasions are more colorful and appealing than others. Watching the cloud of God’s presence rise up in the air signifying it was time to break camp was probably a little more exciting for Israel than getting up every morning to go out and gather manna. But living as His people meant they were to follow Yahweh:
- when it was ordinary as well as when it was extraordinary,
- when there was obvious progress or seeming regression (Numbers 21:4),
- when it was popular and when it wasn’t,
- when they were fatigued as well as when they were fresh,
- and when they could see everything clearly or when they were in a fog.
I don’t know about you, but that list sounds a lot like my life. I guess in this regard, things haven’t changed very much in terms of what it means to follow God. That’s why Numbers still speaks to us today. Take some time to listen to its message.